Admittedly, wheel sealants and wheel protector products aren’t glamorous or interesting. Nevertheless, they do go a long way to keeping your wheels cleaner for longer. In turn, clean wheels go a long way in maintaining the appearance of your car.
Wheel sealants and wheel protectors can generally be used on many, if not most kinds of wheels and work by creating a clear non-stick layer on wheels that help prevent brake dust and dirt from accumulating on them. They can be applied in different ways, namely as an aerosol spray or as a paste. Either way, it’s a simple addition to the car cleaning procedure that saves you time in the long run.
The best wheel sealants and wheel protectors
GTECHNIQ C5 Wheel Armour
Gtechniq produces some cracking products, and its C5 Wheel Armour is one of these. You only need a small volume (15ml for wheels up to 17-inches, 30ml for anything bigger) because the chemical bonding between the solution and the wheel is incredibly strong. You can expect between one and two year's worth of wheel protection.
It’s easy to apply, too: wipe it on with a pad, let it sit for about a minute, then buff and let it cure for 12 hours. Suitable for gloss, satin and matte rim finishes, and fit for use on chrome but not polished metals.
Armor All Shield Brake Dust Repellent 300ml
Best quick spray
An aerosol spray that can be applied once wheels are clean and dry. Shake and spray. While it does create a clear film, the excess can run down the wheels and onto the tyres as a white trickle. It's easily wiped off, just bear it in mind for dark rims. Once dried, it provides protection against brake dust and grime for about four weeks.
Poorboy's Wheel Sealant 235ml
Best wheel sealant paste
For use on aluminium, coated, chrome, and painted wheels. It takes longer to apply than a spray but the trade-off is you can expect better protection. Not only does it repel brake dust, but also extra sticky stuff such as tar and bugs. Apply an extra coat or two to further enhance the protection.
Simoniz Complete Wheel Protector 300ml
Like the Armor All spray, the Simoniz wheel protectant is an aerosol spray. Value for money-wise, it's excellent and does what it says on the canister.
Autoglym Wheel Protector 300ml
Best for light coloured alloys
Autoglym's wheel protector is very hydrophobic and works hard to fight brake dust and regular muck from sticking to clean wheels. It lasts up to six weeks and is simple to apply in aerosol form.
Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray Coating 500ml
This is a little different from the rest. Ceramics are a relatively recent development to the world of car cleaning but has certainly staked its claim. In a nutshell, ceramic coatings have silicon dioxide (SiO2) in the solution that bond firmly to a surface and act as a protectant against UV, acidic substances, and light scratches. The proper ceramic coatings are lacquers, sprays such as these have less SiO2 and aren't as hardy. But they work well compared to other sprays and remain very hydrophobic.
This particular product is a spray wax that can be used on almost any surface including wheels, exterior glass, plastics and headlights. Apply to a clean, dry surface, spread with a cloth then wipe clean. Add a second coat after 24 hours for up to a year’s protection.